10 June 2013

Philofaxy Meet Up - Southern Ontario - Alan

I’ve always enjoyed reading about the Philofaxy Meetups and was somewhat jealous of my fILOFAX compatriots in the UK that had so many opportunities to interact in person.  Susan Stanway and I had talked a various times about getting together, but nothing had meshed.  Whenever I’ve seen another Canadian in the group I’ve tried to make a point of contacting them, but Canada is huge and some of us are nearly as far from each other as we are from the UK!

When I contacted Tina Cayouette, from Montreal, she said she’d be coming through in early June, the wheels were set in motion for the first Southern Ontario Philofaxy Meetup!  Due to Tina’s concert schedule – she’s a violist – we selected Thursday evening, June 6.  Meeting point and time:  After work at Laywine’s (the better of the two Toronto Gold Account Filofax retailers) in the heart of Yorkville, Toronto’s toniest shopping district.

Unfortunately, the schedule didn’t make sense for Susan – it would be over an hour for her to drive in and by the time she left work, she’d miss most of the time together.  We know that she was with us in spirit!

June 6 was an overcast, damp, rainy, dreary day.  But shortly after 5:00 all four of us, Lena Hurzook, Tina, John Hymers and I, were browsing the selection in the store.

John, Lena, Tina

“What perfect weather to get together to discuss a British product like the fILOFAX!” observed John.  He also told us that he had told Peter Laywine that the group would be meeting at his store.  He also let us know that we had missed, by a week, a sale of 50% off all Filofaxes.  Peter pointed out that one shelf was still 50% off so naturally we dug through.  Most were Pockets and Minis, but there was a Nut Brown Pocket Kendal among them!

Alan holding a Mini Purple Topaz and Pocket Kendal

Tina was impressed by the choice of inserts, as none of the stores she’s been to in Montreal have much of a selection.  Laywine’s has a selection of other brands of organizers as well, and Tina bought a L’Agenda Moderne.

Tina trying to choose

John liked my Compact Holborn and as Peter had one, John bought it.  Lena showed us her Black Personal Malden, which may be the fattest, most stuffed fILOFAX I’ve ever seen!

Lenas Fat Malden

It was a full 10cm thick!

Peter was a fantastic host and kept bring old surplus inserts he had in the back.  I swear, if anyone is looking for inserts from the 1980s and 1990s, including Lefax, there’s a chance Peter Laywine has them!  (BTW, for Gemma Seymour-Ampers:  When Peter brought up the double-width Deskfax, I asked him about the page size, and he wasn’t sure if the width was 190mm or 190mm minus the hole allowance.)  Peter is hoping to go down to fILOFAX USA in Connecticut this summer to provide feedback on the product line and the direction of the company.  We overstayed closing time, but Peter and his staff didn’t seem to mind.  Suddenly, Peter said, “I have something to show you,” and put a Yellow A5 Original on the counter.

Lena with Original

It was an unfilled display model, but to be honest, it was lovely.  Everyone will have their opinions about the usefulness of the layout for themselves, but I loved the feel and look of the leather.  He also had a Calypso for us to see.

Lena Calypso

It was well past closing time, and decided to move on to a coffee shop, as neither John nor I were going to be able to stay for dinner.  Tina presented up with little gift bags of stickers and decorative items, and we chatted for about 45 minutes.  John’s been a fILOFAX user for years; Lena has joined the addiction only in January.

Shortly after 7:00, both John and I left, but not before the four of us agreed that we needed to do this again.  Tina will be back in Ontario in the fourth week of October, each of us has pencilled a note in our fILOFAX that another Meetup will take place then!

Thank you Alan for a great report on your meet up... well it certainly looks like the 'magic' of Philofaxy Meet Ups has travelled to another country! 


  1. I just want to point out that Peter Laywine is the gentleman standing in the background of the picture in which Lena is looking at the Yellow Original.

  2. Alan or Tina,
    Question about L’Agenda Moderne are their page sizes and ring spacing the same as Filofax Pocket, Personal, A5 Their website is a little confusing on this issue: http://www.agenda-moderne.com/

    Also been asked if they ship outside of France, but let's make sure the sizes are correct first!

  3. The ones I've seen at Laywines were all Personal ring spacing. On a previous visit to the store, one of the staff told me that some of their Filofax customers use the L’Agenda Moderne diaries since the paper is much better for fountain pens, which is a big part of Laywine's business. The L’Agenda Moderne paper also is gilt-edged and has tear-off corners.

  4. Wow, a Malden that is 10 cm fat! That makes mine (measuring a meager 5.5 cm) Miss Twiggy in comparison!!!!

  5. Great write up on the event. Love the fat Malden!! And the shop owner seems fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I loved the meetup!

    For the L'Agenda Moderne, I can only speak for the personnal size, where Filofax pages fit perfectly. The '' Modulables'' 12x 17 They have 10mm or 25mm rings. Would have to verify for other sizes.

  8. Alan, you look nothing like I pictured you (that sounded creepier than I intended!)

  9. That was so sweet of the store owner to stay open for you and be so helpful in showing you his secret goodies :)
    I am from Northern Ontario, quite a distance from you.

  10. It looks like it was a great meet-up!

  11. More Canadians and in a Malden to boot! I'm not alone.

  12. Hello! If you plan a meet up on Oct, would love to join. I'm a doctoral student at UToronto and will be heading back there in the fall.

    I love the l'agendas because they have such a simple and light-weight design. I've purchased a couple on their website- they do ship internationally, but the site is in French so requires some navigation if you don't speak the language.

    please message me about a meet up in Oct! nat.helpkids@gmail.com

  13. In case any of the Canadians here subscribed to this posting, the October meetup did not happen, but I am continuing to take names of people wishing to be added to the Southern Ontario Meetup list, which may include nearby Americans. I'm a bit loathe to post my email address here, but I am sure if you email Steve, he will forward to me. I had forgotten originally to subscribe to this posting, and will do so now.

  14. The October meetup did not happen, but I am still adding names to the list of potential participants for the next Toronto Philofaxy Meetup, which is gone well past a dozen! There are also a couple of Americans from just over the border who might come up. I'm thinking that it might be best to plan for next Spring.

  15. I would love to join the next meetup I am in montreal

  16. Bonjour can you tell me where I could by a Filofax in Montréal